Human composting legislation considered in Delaware

 Democratic lawmakers in Delaware have introduced a measure that would allow composting of human bodies as an alternative to burial or cremation

DOVER, Del. -- Democratic lawmakers in Delaware have introduced a measure that would allow composting of human bodies as an alternative to burial or cremation.

The bill introduced Thursday would permit a practice that is called “natural organic reduction” but also referred to as “human composting.”

The process involves putting a body into a large tank that also holds straw, wood chips or other natural materials for about 30 days. The human remains and organic materials would mix with warm air and be periodically turned until the body is reduced to a soil-like material that can then be given to the dead person’s family.

Supporters of the bill say human composting is a more environmentally friendly alternative to cremation that uses less energy and doesn’t involve the use of formaldehyde or the release of carbon dioxide and mercury into the atmosphere.

A similar bill was introduced recently in Oregon.

Washington is currently the only state that allows human composting, with lawmakers approving the practice last year.